PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — In newly released video from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, accused shooter Michael Drejka shares his side of the story with detectives after he reportedly shot and killed Markeis McGlockton in July.
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That newly released interrogation video was filmed hours after the deadly shooting. Over the course of more than six hours, Drejka describes the moments before and after the shooting and explains why he pulled the trigger.
Drejka told detectives he thought McGlockton was going to “finish the job,” and that his pet peeve is when people illegally park in handicapped spots at the store.
Several times during the interview, detectives ask Drejka why he didn’t just contact police if someone is illegally parked in the handicapped spots. Drejka responded by saying the people usually leave before police ever show up.
Describing the shooting
In the beginning of the interview he described about how he walked around Brittany Jacob’s car looking for a handicap placard. He then explains the interaction with her once she questions him.
At one point during the interview, he stands up to show detectives how his body was positioned. He’s also seen in the video with his arm in a makeshift sling made out of the shirt he’s wearing.
Drejka then gives his version of what happened once McGlockton exited the store.
Drejka: ”I'm -- pushed, nothing. Tackled. I'm blindsided, dude. I am on the ground hard.”
Detective: “So he shoved you pretty hard?”
Drejka: “No. He -- I -- from -- what it felt like is he come running at me."
Detective: “Okay. Like full force or something?”
Drejka: “Dude, I haven't been hit like that since I was in my 20’s.”
Why he fired
Then Drejka said he fires the deadly shot and explains why.
Drejka: “If he's gonna hit me that hard to begin with from, from -- blindside from the get-go, what else should I expect?”
Detective: “Okay. All right. So you're on the ground. You, you said he was running at you but he only took, like, a step?”
Drejka: “He would have if he had cleared the you know, cleared that and come around towards me again with that second foot, that would have been it."
Detective: “He only made one step?”
Drejka: “He barely made the second step before I pulled the trigger."
Drejka said he would have never pulled the trigger if McGlockton had not stepped towards him.
“If he hadn't have twitched, I never would have pulled that trigger,” he said.
At another point, he said “I shoot -- I shoot to save my own a** and that's that.”
Demonstrates over and over
During the interview Drejka describes and demonstrates the shooting over and over again. At one point the detective asks him again if he only shot McGlockton once.
“One time sir,” Drejka said. “Neutralize. That’s it.”
The detective questions him about what that means and to elaborate.
“Neutralize and then that’s it," Drejka responds. "There’s no reason to … neutralize the immediate threat."
Just as the interview wraps up, Drejka learns that the man who he told detectives he shot is dead.
Detective: “Um, and -- and I just want to tell you this, you know? Just to let you know, the gentleman you shot is deceased."
Drejka: “Huh. Thank you for telling me. Nobody else would give me a word on that. I did ask."
When asked if he had any questions for detectives, Drejka had none.
”Uh, other than the stand-your-ground thing, and I did exactly what I thought I was supposed to be doing at that time, considering what was happening to myself, no, sir, I don't think I have anything else to say,” he said.
Drejka was then released, and the sheriff announced that this shooting was a stand your ground case. Weeks later, the state attorney decided to file manslaughter charges. Drejka was arrested and remained jailed up until Monday.
During the interview Drejka also revealed that he takes Xanax for anxiety. He said he hasn’t worked since 2007 except as an Uber driver, and he’s carried a gun all of his adult life.
He added that the gun he used once belonged to a Delaware police officer.